no one quite does hospitality like an asian – though it’s a compliment oft repeated for italians, Americans from the south, and whichever culture/ breed you belong to – and what better way that to experience it at (their) home, where food is piled high and ever-forthcoming for guests and family alike.
it’s not often we get the chance to peek into someone’s home, much less eat the food that defines their lives – but bonappetour is a new startup trying to blur that line between stranger and friend (or cook, depending on your perspective). run by a group of young friends, the company tries to encourage kitchen-surfing – go to a host’s house, and sit down to a good meal. the premise is simple, the execution uncomplicated, and the food great (though that’s surely dependent on your hosts).
supposedly famed cze char restaurant, with its very own celebrity chef, but with rather just-passable food in sims way. I went expecting a corner-of-the-coffeeshop type of cze char store, but it was instead an open-air casual family-style eatery with a small number of tables.
there must be something compelling about this place for some people – perhaps the chef (since I can’t see that it would necessarily be the food) – for they were entertaining a large group of important guests (not to me, but certainly to the restaurant) that rendered the necessity of bringing the dude out the kitchen. I wasn’t likewise impressed though – I could give them the benefit of the doubt: that they had put in so much effort on that table there was none left – but that’s pretty egregious in itself.
safer, and perhaps more tactful, to speculate that the cooking here is pretty average-going – and based on this meal, certainly not good enough to venture a revisit.
another conquest on my pig trotter (holy + oily = hoily?) grail across singapore, this place is touristy, kitschy, crowded, and does a decent pig trotter. it’s better than ng ah sio, probably on the same level as founder’s, and loses to the still-best eng kee (which I’ve yet to photograph) in ang mo kio.
you often find this place listed with the founder bak kut teh on a compendium of bak kut teh restaurants in singapore.
bak kut teh is a traditional dish of pork rib soup either cooked up with lots of pepper or herbs, and these two places do the peppery style. but at both, my point in visiting is the darkly-braised pork trotter – and straight up, founder wins that battle.
I have a new found fascination with bak kut teh – though it’s only fair to declare that more than half that interest is rather the result of the braised pork trotters all bak kut teh stores serve.
I’m not claiming expert status at all here – in fact, you may have that title if you’d like – and this love for the dish is immensely new; so much that the basis for this review will be generic. is the meat moist, is it tender, and do the flavors meet expectation?
it almost seems like a cop-out to review this place – it’s a small cafe that’s located in nearly every mall possible, serving up local delicacies with no aplomb at all. it’s a cheap and varied menu that stretches from proper mains like mee siam and nasi lemak (my parents give these the thumbs up), to kaya-and-toast spread with butter shaped rather iconically into traditional high cones, to pretty little traditional bakes.
there are old-school items like banana loaf slices and paper sponge cakes, but my mother tends toward these squares of super-retro sponge cakes slathered with thick layers of buttercream and jam.
the concept of the place is simple – open, casual cafes with more than decent local food, at prices that make it a damn good deal in town (at only slightly more than what hawker centres are charging these days) – and it’s nostalgia-inducing too, which might be the best bit.
not gourmet, but it fits like an old sock (you know you’ve got them).
ok, so I promise this the last of chinese new food-related posts for this year at least; but this post was sitting forlornly in the drafts folder, and I thought to share.
I’ve reviewed this place before, and I pronounced it decent – which I would like to iterate now. what I should say in addition, though, is that while it may not be the best buffet in singapore, I think it the best for its utility-to-price ratio.
eating in taipei – and taiwan, in general – is an education in the merits of spacing your calories out throughout that day. come to think of it though, it’s not calories you’re so much bothered with so much as stomach space.
I rather wonder if my method of skipping hyped restaurants at the peak of their popularity is leading to a systematic, and now rather expected, disappointment at how unimpressive the food is.
that’s a leading statement if there ever was one, and no – I don’t really understand all the praise and rave about this place. it’s not bad, and actually, the food is just as you’d expect it to be considering the style of the eatery – just that my expectations were raised what with so many people citing this as some sort of powerhouse.
but at least it didn’t cost too much, eh, so we take the small things where they come.